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Official Review by Paul Derrick, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
One thing can be said about Kyle Field, if you're a college football fan it's a must see. Located in College Station, almost right in the middle of south Texas, Kyle Field has the capacity to hold nearly 83,000 people (the 13th largest stadium in the NCAA). You will quickly see why the stadium has earned the moniker, "12th Man".
Since 1927 the Aggies have called Kyle Field home and its sheer magnitude and seating capacity has led the stadium to be the host of many events, as well as rumored ones such as a host stadium for the FIFA World Cup if the United States were to win the bid. Not many stadiums get louder than Kyle Field, and when visiting you will see some old traditions as well as new technology. With many traditions and a large jumbotron known as the "12th Man TV", Kyle Field offers a little bit of everything.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Food and beverage is one place I do see Kyle Field lacking behind other collegiate stadiums. Don't expect to find a lot of variety, mostly just your basic hot dogs, hamburgers, pretzels and nachos. I did try the Aggie Dog and Pork sandwich but found the sandwich to be quite dry and the Aggie Dog didn't taste much different than any other basic hot dog.
Prices on food and drink are pretty reasonable with an Aggie Dog costing you $3 and a 20-ounce beverage for just $3, or $4 for an A&M souvenir cup. Overall there is not a whole lot out of the norm, but the great prices do make up for the lack of variety.
If I could give more than a 5 here I would. You will not experience a much more amazing atmosphere than you will find at Kyle Field. One interesting thing you will notice at an A&M football game is that unlike many schools, which have a large group of cheerleaders to rally their fans during sporting events, Texas A&M has five student Yell Leaders. Consisting of three seniors and two juniors, historically all male, the Yell Leaders are elected to their positions annually by the student body.
From the firing of "The Spirit of 02," to the kissing of the female who accompanies you, there is never a dull moment at the stadium. The student body supports the Aggies like no other student body I have ever seen. Make sure to witness the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band, composed of over 400 men and women, it is the largest military marching band in the world and is breathtaking to watch.
There are definitely some must sees in and around the stadium as well. Don't miss the statue of E. King Gill, the original 12th man. Also be sure to check out the Reveille cemetery across the street from the stadium where all the past Reveille mascots have been buried.
At Kyle Field you will see past Aggies and future hopeful ones singing along with every fight song and chant. The tradition of the entire stadium locking arms and swaying to the singing of "The Spirit of Aggieland" has been known to make sitting in the press box a shaky experience. With way too many game day traditions to list, you will definitely be in for the experience of a lifetime at Kyle Field.
College Station is definitely not one of the biggest college towns, but it provides about everything you might be looking for. There is a wide variety of places to eat in the College Station area. One of my favorites in the area is Fritella's, an Italian restaurant with great prices and an awesome atmosphere.
Another favorite of mine is Burger Boy. They have a very wide selection, for a burger joint. Good for burgers, gyros and a multiplicity of fried goods.
My overall favorite in the area though is Cafe Eccell, which has the absolute best wood-fire pizzas. Overall the community has enough of a selection to please just about any fan.
I can't rave enough about Aggie football fans. They are true blue, or should I say true Maroon fans, no matter what the outcome of the game may be. Booing is strongly discouraged among Aggie fans, so an upset Aggie fan will instead hiss the opponents or the referees. Aggie football fans call themselves the 12th Man, meaning they are there to support the 11 players on the field. To further symbolize their "readiness, desire, and enthusiasm," the entire student body stands throughout the game. The Yell Leaders coordinate the fans perfectly to make them the loudest at the most opportune times for the team. Aggie fans are some of the loudest and most friendliest fans I have ever met in any sport, college or professional. Many fans around me were more than willing to teach me some of the traditions along the way, so I didn't look nearly as lost as I did in the first ten minutes after showing up to the stadium. Aggie fans truly stand up to their name of being the "12th Man," making it nearly impossible to hear anything at times in the stadium. Overall you will be hard up to find many fans that are more loyal or more knowlegeable about their team than Aggie fans.
Access to the stadium is pretty easy, once you find College Station that is. Paid parking is right on par with most college stadiums, but in my visit I didn't find it to be a necessity. I found free parking within walking distance of the stadium, that's if you don't mind walking. Handicap access and restrooms were easily accessible, though restrooms were a bit harder to get to during intermission. Overall, you should have no problem in finding parking or restrooms at Kyle Field, if you pick the right times.
I picked up an endzone ticket for face value ($20) and it was well worth the investment and then some. I would have easily paid 50 or 60 dollars for the ticket. I would recommend to any sports fan, and definitely college football fan, to go and watch a game at Kyle Field. You will not be disappointed. Kyle Field offers a little of something for every fan, young and old. You will be happy you made the trip. I know I was and I'm already looking forward to next year.
In a school built on tradition, it's beautiful to see those traditions carried on through its student body and sports teams. From the Midnight Yell, to the Aggie Bonfire, A&M students and fans sure know how to get ready, and root on their football team. I have to give points here for the rich traditions of the school and game that have been carried on through the generations. Also a plus for being the loudest stadium I have ever seen, and having some of the friendliest and helpful fans who welcome all new Aggie fans with open arms. I can't say enough about Kyle Field and how much I enjoyed the stadium. I am definitely looking forward to future visits. WHOOOOOP!
Member Review by Techsan on Jun 10, 2012
If you sit in the middle of the home crowd then expect to stand the entire game. It is part of their tradition but you won't be sitting much if you actually want to watch the game. The fans are welcoming but are otherwise a bit arrogant. The stadium is not within walking distance so expect a long walk or ride the shuttle.
Member Review by LetsGeaux12 on Jul 01, 2012
Kyle Field is home to the Aggies, who have one of the largest, most supportive fan bases in the country. The stadium itself is old and in need of a major renovation, but the fans make up for the lacking structure. The "12th Man" is incredible, and is what makes Aggieland so unique. Every college football fan needs to see the 12th Man in their lifetime, for it won't disappoint.
Member Review by pwdonaldson on Jul 02, 2012
One of the most unique venues in college football. From the cordial Texas charm, to locking arms with stranger to sing good-bye to Texas University, to yelling "A" on third downs, Kyle Stadium is a bucket list stop for any college football enthusiast.
101 Church Ave
College Station, TX 77840
311 Church Ave
College Station, TX 77840
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